A preview of the Thrashers.
Record: 13-22-5, 31 points. If this isn't a must win, we don't know what is.
Leading Scorer: Ilya Kovalchuk, 39 points (13 goals, 26 assists).
Last Game: 4-1 home loss to the Lightning Sunday. Former Penguins forward Erik Christensen scored Atlanta's only goal. Fire Ray Shero.
Last Game against the Penguins: 6-3 home loss, Dec. 18. Evgeni Malkin had two goals and two assists. We don't know how that happened either.
Thrashers Player We Would Bet Money On Scoring: Kovalchuk. He has 32 career points in 25 games against the Penguins.
Ex-Penguins on the Thrashers: Colby Armstrong (right), RW; Erik Christensen, C; Johan Hedberg, G; Chris Thorburn, C; Randy Cunneyworth, assistant coach; Peter Mahovlich, professional scout.
Ex-Thrashers on the Penguins: Pascal Dupuis, RW.
Useless Thrashers Trivia: Two former Penguins have served as the Thrashers' captain. Kelly Buchberger wore the "C" in Atlanta's innagural season of 1999-2000 while Shawn McEachern wore it for 2002-03 and 2003-04.
Best Thrashers YouTube Video We Could Find: Thrashers fans aren't exactly satisfied with the direction of their franchise:
-Marc-Andre Fleury and Kari Lehtonen are expected to start in net.
-Normally, we would suggest Michel Therrien go with Dany Sabourin considering Fleury played last night and that Atlanta is a poor team. But right now, the Penguins need whoever gives them the best chance to win regardless of rest and the opposition.
-This isn't just a must-win for the Penguins, the Thrashers need a victory badly as well. Atlanta coach John Anderson completely ripped his team's effort after Sunday's loss saying, "Our give-a-crap level was like at zero. I’ve got to question whether anybody cares in that locker room. That’s a joke."
-Thrashers forward Bryan Little is not expected to play due to a rib injury. He leads Atlanta with 19 goals and has 32 points overall.
-Atlanta defenseman Garnet Exelby, arguably his team's most physical player on the blue line, is on injured reserve due to a leg injury.
-Another defenseman, Zach Bogosian, a first-round pick in 2008, is with the franchise's AHL affiliate in Chicago on a conditioning assignment.
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(Photo: Tom Hanson/Canadian Press)